What Goes Into A Bare Knuckle? - Bobbins
29th June 2022
It's all about the details!
A traditional humbucking guitar pickup consists of 2 wire coils, wound onto plastic bobbins, mounted on to a metal baseplate with a bar magnet and some steel pole pieces to direct the magnetic pull up towards the strings. While it is the magnet and coil which ultimately produce the signal which is sent to your amplifier, all of the other components play an important part in shaping that signal in their own way and honing the details of every individual part is really what makes a pickup build stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
Humbucker bobbins themselves are the canvas onto which the coil is laid and even very small nuances in the build of a bobbin can be heard in the voicing of a pickup. When winding a pickup coil, the shape and dimensions of that coil have a huge impact on the way thet the coil sounds and that shape really begins with the shape of the bobbin, with the height, length and size of the inner "island" of the bobbin all working to dictate the overall dimensions of any given coil wind.
Our standard bobbin design was borne from one simple goal: to produce the most accurate and faithful vintage P.A.F humbucker builds possible. To this end, we developed our own injection moulding tooling to create humbucker bobbins from period-correct celluloid butyrate plastic, with exacting dimensions to the 1950s originals, ensuring that we were able to reliably recreate the tones of the best sounding examples from that era. You will not find a more historically accurate bobbin anywhere in the world!
We now produce these bobbins in a huge aray of colour options and this bobbin has gone on to become the basis for most of our humbucker models, both vintage and modern, but, of course, where voicing and application require it, we have also developed some alternative recipes.
Most notable would be our Black Hawk and Impulse models, which use a different bobbin build altogether, formed with a pair of heat treated steel blades and forbon fibreboard top and bottom plates. These have a taller coil area, with a different island shape too, which we used to create an exceptionally clear tone with superb split-coil performance.
They may seem like a simple and passive component, but great bobbins are the foundation for any pickup coil and we have spared no effort or expense to make ours as good as they can possibly be!